Perceptions and Lifetime Prevalence by Gender and Age In Portugal
"Gender differences concerning illegal drugs experimentation were found for all substances. A higher proportion of males than females had used these substances at least once (18.4 % vs 5.2 % for cannabis, 1.8 % vs 0.4 % for heroin and 3.2 % vs 0.7 % for cocaine).
"The use of illicit drugs is more frequent among the youngest (15-34 years old), especially in the age group 25-34 years.
"Gender analysis shows lifetime prevalence and last month use higher in men for all drugs. The preferential pattern of use of the Portuguese population - first cannabis followed by cocaine and ecstasy maintained in both genders in general and young adult population. The pattern evolution between 2001 and 2007 remained in both genders, among the exceptions a decrease in the prevalence of heroin lifetime use in women in young adult population and the decrease of cannabis prevalence and stabilisation of cocaine use in last month in women of both populations.
"A significant proportion of the population perceives a relatively low risk attached to these types of behaviour: take five or more drinks on the weekend; smoke one or more pack of cigarettes per day; and smoke hashish/marijuana regularly.
"In 2001, the Portuguese population perceived the access to substances in a 24-hour period as more difficult than in 2007.
"Finally and comparatively with studies results from other European countries, we can state that, even being the national results the most recent European results, Portugal remains among the countries with the lowest prevalence of use for most of the substances, with the exception of heroin, where Portugal shows higher prevalence’s."
Institute on Drugs and Drug Addiction, I.P., "2012 National Report (2011 data) to the EMCDDA by the Reitox National Focal Point: PORTUGAL: New Development, Trends and in-depth information on selected issues" (Lisbon, Portugal: 2012), p. 26.